A guide to keeping the blues away
General practitioner and University of Adelaide researcher Dr Cate Howell has released a guide to keeping depression at bay.
The multi-faceted guide, combining a manual and CD, provides a 10-step program to help reduce the severity and relapse of depression, which affects more than one million adults and 100,000 young people in Australia each year.
Keeping the Blues Away was launched in Adelaide recently by Gail Gago, the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
General practitioners in Adelaide have endorsed the program after trialling it with 100 patients over the past 12 months.
"Depression is often a relapsing or recurring problem and it can be associated with anxiety," Dr Howell said.
"It is a very common problem that can affect people from all walks of life, from politicians to sporting heroes, and of all ages. It impacts on the individual, their family and the community."
In 2004, as part of her doctoral studies, Dr Howell began developing a primary care treatment program aimed at reducing the relapse of depression.
"The book is written for patients to use, ideally guided by a GP or mental health professional, " she said.
"There has been very limited research into relapse prevention programs in the past, but this literature supports a range of treatment strategies that help prevent the recurrence of depression."
Dr Howell is a general practitioner and senior lecturer in the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Adelaide. She is also Director of the University's Primary Care Mental Health Unit.
Story by Candy Gibson